Monday, May 23, 2016

Leader is not a Title

I'm thinking of starting a small series on "management" I've trained many people and helped others but i keep seeing the same issues again and again so maybe I can help someone before them make a mess of things (or if they already have)  Let me know your thoughts and experiences.

I start with : Manager is a title, leader is not.
Today I had the pleasure (?) of seeing someone "in charge" trying to lead. Needless to say it didn't work. No matter how much they tried to exert their "power" over the others it was clear those on the receiving end were not responsive to their instructions. This was almost comical to see as the people clearly wanted a person in charge, just not her.

This really brings to light a fact most people ignore or use as an excuse.  Being in charge is not what makes a leader.  I do a lot of runway shows and I can tell you many times the "organizer" is not organized, but their assistant is. Among a group of models a few may stand off and others may naturally follow their example without a second thought. Many people will unconsciously copy those they feel know more then they do, same body language and such.

People put in charge often complain "I just can't get them to listen", I've heard "Well it's not like I can force them." Even better the, "This is too stressful I just don't know what to do." Now as a person in charge you know you can let people go, but you also know that still doesn't fix the problem of people following your lead. 

So what is going to make a leader?

Presence, some people are natural leaders. You can feel it. It's not a tense feeling, you are not worried or scared, it's a subconscious sigh of ok.

Respect, you understand this person is capable and knowledgeable. They know what they are talking about.

Trust, you know this person isn't out just for themselves. They are offering advise to get back the best they can from those around them.

Praise, a leader is quick to notice and praise those doing well. They know to encourage and it helps foster the trust needed for them to lead and it is rewarded with respect.

If you find yourself pulling rather then leading you are doing it wrong. Are you being to forceful? Do you not give people time to think and react? Do people tell you calm down or speak up? Are you helping or just ordering? Do the people you are "in charge" of know that you are there to help? Do they recognize your time as important or they could care less?

In today's digital age people are more receptive then ever to leaders. You need to do your part to become a person that can lead to stand out. Anyone can give lip service and get a position in a managerial role. Doing a good job in that role takes effort, which is why good leaders are hard to find.

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